She Loves Me: Storybook Lovers in 1930s Hungary

The tried and true formula of a well-received musical goes like this: an accessible story, a grounding, genuine performance and impeccable production. But at the root of it, the best of them should be distilled down to two elements – musicality and a sound script. With these in play, any embellishment is hardly necessary. For decades She Loves Me has ticked all these boxes, so much so that it has been included in every possible ranking list of must-see musicals. Continue reading She Loves Me: Storybook Lovers in 1930s Hungary

Closet Works v. 4: Into the Digital Wild

This might sound overly sensational, but Joshua William Gelb’s Closet Works series proves that a new theatrical laboratory involving entirely new possibilities for the medium can be constructed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Gelb, an independent New York-based director and performer has converted his home closet (a white box with dimensions of 4x8x2 feet) into a space for live digital performance. Since March, Gelb has performed and livestreamed from this closet in his East Village apartment, working remotely with his supporters and collaborators. Continue reading Closet Works v. 4: Into the Digital Wild

Seeing Our Reflections in Yael Farber’s Take On The Crucible

Audience interaction. At its worst, it’s cringy and unnecessary, but when it’s done well it makes for a theatrical experience like none other. This was one of the main drawing points for Yael Farber’s 2014 production of The Crucible at London’s Old Vic – and oh, does it deliver. Through a unique, subtle take on audience involvement, an immersive soundscape and set, and a devoted cast, Arthur Miller’s 1953 script burns bright in this acclaimed production. Continue reading Seeing Our Reflections in Yael Farber’s Take On The Crucible

The Opera Machine: Step Behind the Curtain and Into Life Beyond the Stage

The best seats in the house are often in the stalls, front row and centre, but just imagine the wondrous views behind the curtain. In The Opera Machine, produced by the Royal Opera House UK, these exclusive views are opened up to the public, providing a rare insight to the behind-the-scenes makings of an operatic performance. Featuring the 2012 show of the last act of Wagner’s musical drama Die Walküre, The Opera Machine shines a well-deserved light on the work of the stage crew, technicians and management. It’s those backstage rather than onstage who are the stars in this series of footage captured by 17 cameras placed around the theatre. Continue reading The Opera Machine: Step Behind the Curtain and Into Life Beyond the Stage

Julius Caesar: A Well-Known Tale of Betrayal, Reinvented

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. The metaphorical curtain opens on a barren space with a spotlight focused centre stage. If you’re familiar with Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, you may be expecting a group of men to storm the stage, but director Phyllida Lloyd has something entirely different in store. This 2012 Donmar Warehouse production is the first in an all-female Shakespeare trilogy performed at Donmar King’s Cross in London. Continue reading Julius Caesar: A Well-Known Tale of Betrayal, Reinvented

Negative Space: Knock Down the Walls of Your Lockdown Blues

Negative Space, the work of UK-Belgian company Reckless Sleepers and director Mole Wetherell is a whirlwind of visual theatre, captured live at Adelphi Theatre, University of Salford in 2019. It takes the established worlds of physical and devised theatre and fits them out with an armoury of hammers, trapdoors, rose ceremonies of sorts, and broken walls. The performance presents a symphony of body language, inviting you into a place beyond words where movement and logic translates into a hypnotic composition of codes and riddles. There is no sense of a conventional narrative – instead, the doors are thrown wide open to the audience’s own imagination. Continue reading Negative Space: Knock Down the Walls of Your Lockdown Blues

Dear Australia: Reply All

Dear Australia, the recent project of Playwriting Australia, is like taking a walk through the suburbs. In the midst of a pandemic, it serves as a singular account of a time that has demanded us to reflect on the heart of the nation. Watching Dear Australia reveals the breadth and diversity of our national experiences, from stories about personal vulnerability to the impacts of colonisation. Continue reading Dear Australia: Reply All

Buried Child: The Modern American Classic that Shocks

Sam Shepard’s 1979 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Buried Child explores a Midwestern-American family holding onto a dark secret in the ‘70s. The arrival of their grandson Vince, whom they do not recognise, sparks the intense unravelling of that secret. In The New Group’s 2016 production, directors Scott Elliot and David Horn capture the essence of Shepard’s original work, creating a show that manages to be both hilarious and horrifying in the same minute. Continue reading Buried Child: The Modern American Classic that Shocks